When choosing a mitre saw, blade size is one of the key factors. 8", 10", and 12" are
the most common mitre saw sizes. The larger the diameter of the blade, the longer the
cuts it can make.
The blade material will dertermine the types of use for the saw. Steel Blades are the
least expensive and do well cutting softwood although they dull quickly on hardwood.
High-Speed Steel Blades are a step up in hardness from steel blades and consequently
stay sharp longer.
Carbide-Tipped Blades are the most expensive blades, but will stay
sharp a good deal longer than steel or high-speed steel. They are best for hardwoods.
For extra safety, look for electric brakes. Electric Brakes transpose the electrical
power's direction of flow in the motor upon release of the trigger. Reversing current
halts the blade's momentum in as little as two seconds, compared with up to twelve
seconds for a saw without them.
Other features to look for include:
Self-Retracting Blade Guards automatically lower to completely cover the blade
when the saw is raised off the workpiece. They keep the guard free of the stock,
so you have a better view of your cutting line, when the blade is at work.
Table Extensions that mount on the side of the saw to balance longer workpieces
in order to give accurate cuts.
Factory pre-set points that enable precise cuts on specific angles are called
Positive Stops. The more positive stops a saw has the less setup time you'll spend.
A large Dust Bag directly attached to the saw to collect sawdust.
Weight- if you'll be taking the saw to multiple job sites, weight will be a factor